Thursday, January 9, 2014

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by: Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by: Matthew Quick

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 273
Published: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository

Goodreads synopsis: In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

My Review:
Upon reading this book I did not know that this was a book about suicide so I did not have any expectations for this book, nor did I hear reviews about this book.  I am glad for that because I was able to sort out my own feelings without my judgement being clouded.

This book follows Leonard who on his birthday will kill his bestfriend (ex-bestfriend rather) but first he has a few stops along the way to address those that he cherished the most.  The parts of this book that I really liked were also parts of this book that were the deepest, emotionally.  I liked when there was light shown on Leonard and his ex-bestfriends friendship in their earlier years.  I did not expect it to turn out so badly from the abuse that these two boys had suffered.  I was rather furious when Leonard's mom  and how she witnessed some of the abuse that was going on with her son, yet did nothing and acted as if everything was ok.  I also felt so sad that Leonard did not have anyone to turn to for help, which then led to him to start forming these dark thoughts/plans.  I also loved Leonard's relationship with Walt, who gave him a sense of belonging and Herr Silverman, who helped pull him out of this dark despair even when no one else seemed to care.

I have a few cons with this book that led me to give it the rating that I did.  The first thing that I did not like was the letters from the future.  I did not like them because they were placed randomly throughout the book and it made me really confused.  At first I didn't know what I had just read but as the story progresses you later find out what those letters mean to Leonard. Even though I thought the letters to the future were confusing I do believe that they helped Leonard in the end and helped him see what the future could hold for him even if that means enduring the pains he faces in the present.  The last thing that I did not like is that it took almost the whole book to figure out why Leonard wanted to kill himself.  Once I found out this part of his life I felt so much sadness for Leonard and wished he did not experience the things that he had throughout his life.  I would have loved to hear more about that trauma because that is a topic that isn't really touched on much but effects so many individuals and families today.

Overall I think this book was a good read, that made you turn page after page in order to figure out what else Leonard had up his sleeve.

Final Verdict: 3.5 Stars

Numbers Infinity by: Rachel Ward

Numbers Infinity by: Rachel Ward
(Numbers #3)

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Published: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository

Goodreads synopsis: The mind-blowing conclusion to the chilling NUMBERS trilogy: Because everyone wants to live forever.

No matter what it takes, Sarah's desperate to escape from the numbers.

Always numbers. Sarah loves Adam, but can't bear the thought that every time he looks in her eyes, he can see her dying; can see her last day.

It's 2029. Two years since the Chaos. Sarah and Adam are struggling to survive. She knows he always envisioned them together "'til death do us part." But will a child come between them? The child she loves. The child he saved.

Little Mia was supposed to die that New Year's Day. The numbers don't lie. But somehow she changed her date. Mia's just a baby, oblivious to her special power. But ruthless people are hunting her down, determined to steal her secret. 

Because everyone wants to live forever.

My Review:
Since this book is the a conclusion to a series, this review is going to be short and pretty vague.

This book follows Adam, Sarah, and Mia who are trying to find shelter and peace after the Chaos.  Things are not really any easier for them especially when men come looking for Adam.  Sarah just wants to find safety and convinces Adam to go to the safest place left.  They soon find out that safety is going to be hard to come by.

This book in my opinion is the better one of the series.  The ending was so unpredictable and really brought some feels that I did not know I felt at the time.  The characters are very loveable and it really makes you have a soft spot for Adam and Mia.
Mia, although so young, has the spirit of an older person and always seems to sense when things are wrong.  She is so sweet and even though she may not know it or atleast understand it at her current age she seems to want to help so many people no matter how dangerous they are, or what harm doing so could bring her.
Something that I really enjoyed about this book is all the lies and secrets that kept coming up.  Normally that would annoy me but in this case it made you stay on your toes because you didn't know who to trust.
Overall, this was a good book that contained most of the action towards the end of the book.  I would recommend this to someone who is wanting a different take on YA dystopian books, but also who do not mind a slow paced book.

There is only one con when it comes to this book, and that is it being so slow in the beginning.  It was kind of hard for me to get into this book at first, but once you got to the middle of the book it just got better and better.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Vampire Academy by: Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy By: Richelle Mead
(Vampire Academy #1)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 332
Published: August 16th, 2007
Publisher: Razorbill

Purchased: Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Synopsis: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

My Review:
Rose is like a bodyguard who has been protecting Lissa from something unknown...  She will go through great lengths in order to ensure Lissa's safety, even if that means neglecting her own needs.  Lissa, at times has a strong sense of someone following her but Rose does everything in her power to reassure Lissa that everything will be ok.  This is not a hard task especially sense their bond is so strong.

This book had a very different take on vampires which I was thankful for. The Vampire Academy is a school that young vampires learn things, such as dealing with their powers that they specialize in.  It is also a place where people like Rose go through education and training in order to become a guardian to protect the vampires (Moroi) since their race is dying out.  Rose was a very likable main character and extremely selfless, always being their for Lissa when she most needed it.  Lissa was not a character I liked very much because she did not really stand out to me.  I think the reason she did not stand out was because she seemed very helpless at times always needing someone (Rose) to rescue her.  And then when she did try to take situations in her own hands she would go to deep extremes in order to save her friend, which seemed unnecessary at times.  I did like the concept of Lissa's gift that will truly unravel towards the end of the book.  It seems like a gift most would love to have and yet a curse at the same time. Dimitri was to die for! Something about him just made him seem so adorable even though he hardly said anything and was mostly "statue-like" through this book. The reason I held off from reading this book is because people said that the ending was very predictable.  After reading this all the way through I have to disagree.  I did not see the ending coming the way it did, which turned out to be really weird (weird in a good way). This book is slow paced but I feel that it gives you enough detail about the history of the Moroi and Dhampir's which is something you need to understand, especially sense this book is not about ordinary vampires.
I think this is a great book, that has just enough action to keep you wanting more.

Final Verdict: 5 stars

Burned by: Ellen Hopkins

Burned By: Ellen Hopkins

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 431
Published: April 1st, 2006
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.
This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it?
It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.
Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.

My Review:
Burned, follows a teenage girl named Pattyn who lives a life that no other teenage girl would ever want to be a part of.  She's pressured to live a lifestyle that she isn't quite sure she believes in anymore, which causes her to ask questions.  Eventually, these questions gets her into enough trouble and sent away to Nevada to turn her act around.  Pattyn later finds out that being shipped off to Nevada wasn't so bad after all.
I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book.  It was a very quick read (I read it in one day), that is remarkably written. The characters are truly amazing, at least the ones that are meant to be lovable.  I loved Pattyn's character and was proud of her when she was brave enough to stand up for herself and her sisters even though she would be punished harshly. Ethan was a boy that every girl would fantasize about. I also feel that Ethan was the only one who was able to give Pattyn a since of belonging and grow into a better person.  The only two characters that I truly disliked was Pattyn's mom and dad.  The only thing that I will say about these too is that they should be ashamed of themselves for wreaking havoc on their families lives, and for constantly bringing Pattyn sadness.
The ending of this book was truly unbelievable. I felt a huge sadness as the events that unfolded towards the end. I read that Ellen Hopkins had no intention on writing a sequel to Pattyn's story.  Thankfully she wrote the sequel, Smoke which I am so happy to start because I do not think I could live with myself not knowing what happened to Pattyn.
Overall, this book is amazing which results in me not having anything negative to say.

Final Verdict: 5 stars ---- > A Must Read!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0


The Details:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

This will be my first time participating in a read-a-thon and I am so excited to see how much I can read this week.

My Goal:

  1. Read 200 pages a day
  2. Finish atleast 3 books
  3. Post a wrap-up of my read-a-thon experience

My Bout of Books tbr:
  1. All Our Yesterdays by: Cristin Terrill
  2. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by: April Genevieve Tucholke
  3. Night Film: A Novel by: Marisha Pessl

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sisters Red by: Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red by: Jackson Pearce
(Fairytale Retellings #1)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 342
Published: April 5th, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. 

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

My Review: 
I'm going to start off saying that the cover of this book is so pretty.  I love how you can see the two sisters, Scarlet and Rosie, and underneath see the Fenris that they fight against.

This book is about two sisters who fight against wolves that threaten the lives of humans among them (this is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood).  I thought that the whole concept of how the Fenris's stayed among the people in their small town, and how they recruited each other was an awesome plus to this book.  It actually made you want to know what was going to happen next and who they were going to go after.  At times though, the Fenris's were quite frightening because of the manipulation they used over people in order to hide who they truly were, until it was too late...
Scarlet was my favorite character in this book because she was so brave and no matter what dangers stared down at her, she became so selfless in order to save her sister and the other individuals of their town.  Although Scarlet was my favorite character she got on my nerves a lot because she was so absorbed in her fighting that she let a good thing slip away from her. I won't say what that was because I don't want to spoil the book. Silas was a character that I thought I would fall in love with (not literally obviously!) but the further I got in the story the more and more I disliked him SO much. I just hated what he did to Scarlet it made me feel so bad for her but then I couldn't really blame him because Scarlet was so wrapped up in her own issues.  But he didn't have to do what he did with someone that was so close to Scarlet. It really hurt my feelings. The last character that I am going to talk about is Rosie, Scarlet's sister.  I liked Rosie in the beginning of this book but once she got involved with her love interest she changed. Once again I can't blame her because I understand that she needed to have something more than just fighting Fenris's.  So with that being said, towards the end of the book I began to like Rosie more than I had in the beginning. Overall, I think this is a very enjoyable read that will get your feelings wrapped up with each character.

The Cons I had for this wasn't many but I will get straight to the point and state what I disliked about this book.  I had trouble getting into this book because it was very slow paced at times, and then there were moments it picked back up, then became slow paced again.  The next con was how oblivious Scarlet seemed to the rest of the world. It would make me mad at times because I wanted her to have a good life as well and be able to continue her love of fighting.  But I guess that would be asking too much.  Lastly, I just didn't like the relationship that formed (especially with the huge age gap) it just didn't seemed natural to me.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars